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Perennials return and bloom year after year! Iris Germanica, commonly called Bearded Iris, is the presumed father of most modern Bearded Iris cultivars, of which there are now thousands to enjoy. Bearded Iris spreads as creeping rhizomes that form large clumps over time. Bearded Iris perennialize and naturalize very well, with little to no effort.
There are now so many cultivars to choose from that it is often difficult to choose which variety you like best. Bearded Iris bloom descriptions consist of falls, beards, standards and become quite technical, especially by Iris lovers.
About this Variety
Firebreather is a superb variety chosen for its unique coloring.
- Beautiful, showy blooms
- Long-lasting cut flowers for bouquets & arrangements
- Drought, deer & critter resistant
- Naturalizes well
- Low maintenance
Grows 32-48" tall
Spaced 12-24" apart, 4-6" deep with top of rhizome exposed above soil line
Grow as Perennial in zones 3-9. Grow as Annual elsewhere.
Bearded Iris can be planted in spring after the danger of frost has passed or in the fall before the first frost has hardened the soil. Plant Bearded Iris in a sunny location that receives 5 or more hours of direct sunlight per day and where the water drains well. Bearded Iris do not like standing water.
Soil preparation: Prepare planting location by loosening the soil to 12-15" deep, then mix in a 2-4" layer of compost.
To plant: Plant the Bearded Iris rhizomes 4-6" deep. Space the rhizomes 12-24" apart with the tops of the rhizomes just peeking above the soil surface and roots spread out in soil below. Cover with soil until the soil is just barely covering the rhizomes. In very hot areas, use a little more soil and cover with up to 1" of soil.
Water well after planting - thoroughly soaking the area. Until new growth appears to show that the bearded iris rhizomes have rooted, water only lightly. The foliage will form and appear in autumn.
Continued care: Water the Bearded Iris rhizomes regularly until about 6 weeks after the flowers have faded. This moisture will increase clump development and bud production for the next blooming period. A light application of nitrogen fertilizer (6-10-10) in early spring and after flowering will help the plants produce lots of blooms. Caution: High nitrogen fertilizer will encourage rot so this is one case where more is not better.
After blooming has finished for the season, cut off spent flower stalks leave the foliage. The sword-like leaves will gather sunlight and provide nourishment for the next season's show.
Divide Bearded Iris every three years in late summer. Each division should have 1-2 leaf fans.
After flowering, cut out the flower stalk, leaving the foliage.